Friday, January 11, 2008

Cost of living in Singapore 2008

Update : Cost of Living in Singapore 2010

As the new year has started, I thought its a good time to update "Cost of Living" details about Singapore. I have been getting lot of hits on my "Cost of Living in Singapore" posts. I am glad that I am able to provide some idea to people who are planning to move in Singapore for short period or long term period.

So here I am updating my details on cost of living in Singapore. I will also try to address some of the common queries I have as comments from readers. I hope this helps !

Again as a word of caution here. The cost of living chart I am giving here is as a guideline only for a family of couple or couple with 1 child. For bachelors the cost will be shared, so it will be quite less in total on a individual basis.This is based on my own personal experience so far. As everybody knows that it depends on their lifestyle as to how much they spend on things they like. So someone may like to live in Condo rather than HDB for their specific needs, then the cost of living will go up. Also for HDB it depends where in Singapore you are trying for rental HDB flat. HDBs near to central/downtown area is expensive.

Rent: Rent has gone up overall. But for renewal HDB rentals what I have personally seen is that, if you have good relationship with owner, the % increase is around 10-15%. Again it depends on the area. For new HDB rental contracts you need to search and negotiate well to get good deal. Checkout the website : http://singapore.roomsdb.net/ to get an idea of rent in Singapore.

Grocery: Grocery is a variable expense. So can be controlled a bit though GST is 7%. I don't see a major change in our grocery bill. The key is to buy from shops like Mustafa, FairePrice, Carrefour etc.. as they offer discounts most of the times on many consumer products.

Furniture: If you need to buy furniture in Singapore. There are ample choices from low cost to luxury. Visit Ikea to get an idea on typical furniture costs. Ikea furniture is good at the same time having reasonable price tag for normal furniture items for your home. If you want to buy some old but good usable furniture like Sofa Set, Bed Frames, chairs etc ..have a look at the Salvation Army Stores. They offer good, but old furniture for very low cost. For example my friend got a nice 3 person Sofa for just $100!. Also the money given to Salvation Army is for good cause too.

School: Pre-school's are located everywhere in Singapore. So you can choose something near to you to avoid transportation cost(around $100/pm) and hassle for your child. The pre-schools with Montessori pattern are slightly expensive than others. For primary schools there is ample choice again. There are 2 Indian schools :
Taxi: Taxi fares have gone up recently during the peak hours. But for short distance it does not have much impact. As with excellent public transportation, you can go anywhere using MRT, Bus and Taxi combination. So that way taxi usage is minimum.

Outside Food: If you need to eat outside food during office lunch hour. Most of the places will have food courts catering to every bodies need. You will get variety of food like veg and non-veg. In general the charge is i the range of $5-$8 depending upon your order. Most of the places you will find a Indian stall having south/north Indian food.

While comparing cost of living between different countries and Singapore. Remember that things are different in each country. In Singapore the public transportation is of great advantage. You don't really need a car to get around Singapore.

Overall I like Singapore for clean surroundings, green all around, excellent public transport, parks specially for kids and Indian food availability !

In my next post I will consolidate the queries I have had from my readers..

Do comment if you still have any doubts, I am glad to share my experience in order to help others !

Related Posts

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep your good work

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your info. Can you describe in more detail Grocery and how many times you eat out

sambath said...

Good Stuff and nicely done Mr. sandeep...

MJ said...

Thank you. Can anyone answer for me if it is a good idea to ship my electronics I use in the USA to Singapore when I move there. The company pays for it, but will it all work. 60 inch Sony TV, Etc. Thanks.

MJ said...

Thanks for the cost analysis. Does anyone know if I ship my US TV and electronics to Singapore if they will work (power/cable). Or is it more trouble than it is worth? Even if my company is paying for it.

Sandeep said...

MJ,

You would need the 110-220 converter for all your electronics from USA to use them in Singapore.

hope this helps
-sandeep

Sandeep said...

Clarification on "Outside Food'. This is calculated based on $7 per day food expense for one person for working days in a month.

Hope this helps ..

enjoy
Sandeep

Anonymous said...

Great information!!

I assume the numbers are in Singapore dollars??

Jake

wak said...

Good work Sandeep!
Please give me some expense idea for a family having two O-level going kids.

Secondly, do Singapore has 'garage sales' to buy stuff from?

Harpreet said...

Hi Sandeep

I read many of your blogs.

Must say. This is excellent work.

I am presently evaluating moving to Singapore and the info you shared was extremelly useful for me.

BTW, do you have any knowledge on how can one create a IP Phone kind of infra. and how cost effective it would be. Like If I have a Laptop in singapore and IP Phone in India.. then will it work cheaper than taking a calling card in Singapore. My need would be to daily call of about 30-45 min to India. Look forward to your quick update on this

Cheers!

Harpreet

Sandeep said...

Hi Harpreet,

thanks for your comments and glad to know that this is helping you in some way.

There is no such thing like IP Phone in Singapore like Vonage in USA. But the calling cards by mustafa are pretty cheap, it comes to same rate(rs 3.0) per minutes as you would pay for STD calls in India !

I have tried many calling cards till now, I would recommend Mustafa budget calling as that is the best so far I liked..you get 120 minues of India calling with $10 card.

cheers
Sandeep

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep,
Very good work..............Thanks a lot.
I am planning to move to singapore from Delhi next month. Can u tell me if my mobile will work there? or the companies provide locked handsets with connection?
Also how are the electronics priced (particularly Digital camera, handycam and mobile handsets) compared to India?

Sandeep said...

Yes the GSM mobile from India works here too. Most of the mobile companies here in Singapore offer good discount on mobile handsets when u take a connection from them!. but aware of the contract terms of the connection before you sign-up for any mobile connection.generally they have 2 years contract which attracts penalty if terminated before contract period.

electronics are fairly priced in most places ..one have to look out for SALE for getting good bargain though!

cheers
Sandeep

Living in Singapore said...

Thanks for writing these!

I found the 2007 cost of living post helpful, and the 2008 one even more so.

I've updated the link at Moving to Singapore to point to your 2008 post, hope you don't mind us sending our readers over here for tips! :)

Anonymous said...

cost of living is a excellent post, but wondering how much money one can really make being there in Singapore with this kind of expenses and especially, when India has become so much competative with compensation and also rupee appreciating day by day !
However, I would like to believe that standard of living is still high there and today not comparable with India, if you don't disagree.

Cheers !

Sandeep said...

I agree with the point is that India has become competitive on compensation and also standard of living in Singapore is much better than what we have in India.

I believe this is a good question to readers,

My opinion is that people come to countries outside India not only for money(though that is the driving factor!) but also for job diversity and international experience.

I believe that cost of living can be managed though it is high in countries like USA, UK, Singapore etc ..

In my opinion Singapore still has advantage over USA,UK as some of the expenses like car(You really don't need to buy car in Singapore!), traveling around USA, vacations back to India are less when you are in Singapore as it is near to India!.

cheers
Sandeep

Anonymous said...

Thank You for the blog, its really informing. I just had a couple of questions...I've been granted an in principle approval P2 pass which grants me a single journey to singapore from India. Although I do not possess a physical social pass embossed on my passport, would the in principle letter help me get thru the indian immigration at the airport?

Sandeep said...

Yes the In-principle letter has the Single Entry Visa for Entry into Singapore. So when you show this to Indian immigration at airport they know what it means!

The P2 pass card & stamping on the passport happens after you are in Singapore by the authority.

cheers
Sandeep

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep, that was a very good piece of info. I am also in the same situation and searched in the net for long hours to check if the approval letter in principle can be used for entering Singapore.

Thanks once again

Syam said...

Thank sandeep..its really a gud stuff for me..i am planning to shift to singapore for a job..Its one of da leading companies in Oil & Gas sector. I am negotiating da sal with the company. can u suggest me an avg expenses for a middle class couple ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. This was the only place where I could find some information of cost of living in Singapore w.r.t to Indians. Would be greatful if you can provide some more information with regard to Schooling for Kids. I could find only two schools viz. DPS and Global. The are really expensive. Any other schools? What would be the cost if for a family of four (Husband, Wife and two schoold going kids)a two room accomodation? Thanks in advance

Ganesh said...

Hi sir
You have done good work for freshers who don't know about singapore.
sir i am looking for singapore jobs.I am a Diploma ECE engineer with 7 years of experience in power electronics feild. what is your advice for me? actualy i saw your blog on http://www.livinginsingapore.org/movingtosingapore#employment.pass.

regards
Ganesh

Ashwinikumar said...

Hi This is Ashwin,

I visit your Web Page note down all relevant information, Let see how it was useful as i am moving to Singapore on project for 6 month.

I will be in position to give feedback after that.

Thanks,

ARYAN said...

Do you have any idea about the salary offered to SAP ABAP Developers there with around 2.5 years of exp.

Anonymous said...

Nice info, thanks. Are the numbers in Singapore dollars??
DianaB

Bilal said...

I am planning to move to Singapore. My employer offers medical coverage for myself only. Any idea how much would it cost if I purchase a reasonable medical insurance for my wife and kid less than 1 yr old?

Kunal said...

Hi, I will be moving to singapore along with family in Jun'08. I will be looking out for fully furnished appartment there. Are fully furnished appartments easy/common to get there? Also I am wondering if I should carry my white goods (basically Fridge, TV, washing maching & microwave), or do fully furnished flats come with these stuff.

Sandeep said...

Kunal,

Most of the HDB/Condo Flats are fully furnished. Fully furnished generally contains Fridge, TV, Microwave, Waching machine,Beds etc ..

So no need to bring anything from India to Singapore, as it is expensive to cargo and repairs here are expensive too.

When you contact the agent for the flat rental you need to specify your requirements carefully then you get what you want in most cases.

hope this helps

regards
Sandeep

Anonymous said...

Hi

Is there any good sites on Singapore tax laws/online calculators etc.

Also any idea when does the academic yr start for schools.

Anonymous said...

Considering taking a perm position in Singapore moving from the States. Would $100K USD be sufficient for 1 person to live on? Is that a competitive salary in the financial services industry?

Vikram said...

Hi Sandeep

Any idea of how much it would cost to cargo some items like furniture, electronics from Singapore to India?

Vikram

Anonymous said...

I am seriously considering making a permanent move to Singapore from USA. I have an offer from a Singapore research institute.

Did any of your blog readers make a move from USA to Singapore? Can you list the Pros and Cons?

Praveen said...

Hi Sandeep,

You have given such a packaged information. many many thanks to you. I have a question for u, Can I start searching job on depedent visa or one shud have work permit for that first?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for good info. can u guide me as to what is the demand for financial analyst in Singapore? I want shift to Singapore in Financial Modeling related assignments..., can u provide me more info on this?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep,

It's amazing to see that you have been so helpful to so many people and it really not only needs time but more importantly willingness to help. SO first of all thank you again for being such a sport and knowledge repository.

I am actually planning a move to Singapore and more likely then not it would be planned by the company I am moving with. Having said that still I have so many questions that its impossible to leave things merely like that. So if its ok with you please do guide me on the following:

1. I have a 6 year old boy - so how expensive would be education ?

2. How expensive are the condo's ? In terms of monthly rentals. I would prefer living in apartment complex where you have all facilities and amenities. Helps kid and wife when you are at the job.

3. If I want can I bring my household things such as beds, fridge, TV etc with me, in case I get cargo facility. Would it make sense.

4. I understand its a very personal and individual question, depending on everyone's spending habits, but on an average as per your chart 3000 dollars is enough for a month for a family including a kid. Is that correct, how much would that change if you take a very good apartment or condo on rent ?

I know these are many questions, so if you think you could spare some time and talk, I can call you as well.

Thank you very much and appreciate this.

Gagan

Sandeep said...

Gagan,

Thanks for the feedback.I faced with similar questions when I moved here, so thought of sharing my experience. Glad to see that it is helping people around the globe!

1. I have a 6 year old boy - so how expensive would be education ?

ANS: Again as I mentioned it all depends on ones lifestyle. e.g. if you put your kid for a swimming class..that costs around $180-250 for 4 sessions!..Education again it varies, depends a lot of which school etc..You can check the Schools like DPS, NPS, Global Indian on google for their fees !

2. How expensive are the condo's ? In terms of monthly rentals. I would prefer living in apartment complex where you have all facilities and amenities. Helps kid and wife when you are at the job.

ANS: As of now rental for Condos is in the range of 2400-3000(to start with). This again depends on where you stay. I would still prefer to stay in HDB near to all facilities(like a Community club - which has all facilities) - which would be around 1800-2000(again depends on area).

3. If I want can I bring my household things such as beds, fridge, TV etc with me, in case I get cargo facility. Would it make sense.

ANS: No need to bring anything other than your Kitchen Grinder(the good brands we get in india are expensive here) and utensils(only few like Good Tawa, kadai etc). All Flats are fully furnished.

4. I understand its a very personal and individual question, depending on everyone's spending habits, but on an average as per your chart 3000 dollars is enough for a month for a family including a kid. Is that correct, how much would that change if you take a very good apartment or condo on rent ?

ANS: Everything depends on lifestyle. Specially the RENT takes up the most of it!.

I hope this helps.

regards
Sandeep

Andy said...

Hi,

This surely seems to be a good site. I hope my query gets answered this time. Am not too sure if the last time I posted this, it reached.Well, my questions.
a)I am a bachelor and am considering moving to SNG in a few months time. Do you think it will be advisable to rent out an apartment alone or share an accomodation.Is the current range for a condo close to 3000sng dollars ?
b) my place of work will be at republic plaza,probably rafffles palace.wat is the area you would recommend to stay in ? people are of the opinion that i shoudl stay next to an mrt ? could you suggest a place / good location for staying?
c) a lot depends on the budget onbe has, wat would be the range for a good salary to be able to stay as well as meet expenses and save a bit for back home ?

Sushant said...

Hi Sandeep,
Nice post. I will be moving to singapore next month for around 6 months. I will be working at 80, Anson Road office. Can you suggest me a place to live which is not too expensive? Which areas are good to live in, considering the food availability (indian veg, i also eat non-veg but occasionally). I am looking for a place which will be around 10-15 min by bus to my office and not too expensive, we are 3 people so we can share.

Sandeep said...

Hi sushant,

For 80, Anson Road..the nearest place is Tanjong Pagar - I am not sure how much is the HDB rentals are there...but if you are sharing you can manage the rental as it divides!

Food availability is no problem in most areas in Singapore, as you will get Indian Veg/non-veg food.

Expecting 10-15 mins by bus to office is too much to expect in Singapore unless you are staying very nearby.

regards
Sandeep

Sandeep said...

Hi Andy,

thanks for the comments.

a)I am a bachelor and am considering moving to SNG in a few months time. Do you think it will be advisable to rent out an apartment alone or share an accomodation.Is the current range for a condo close to 3000sng dollars ?

ANS: If you are a bachelor and ok to share apts with our friend, it is always advisable. as it saves a lot of $$$ :)..Say if a $3000 condo shared by 3 people ..its nice to have all amenities and still pay only $1000 per person !

b) my place of work will be at republic plaza,probably rafffles palace.wat is the area you would recommend to stay in ? people are of the opinion that i shoudl stay next to an mrt ? could you suggest a place / good location for staying?

ANS: Getting acco. near to office areas is expensive always..so better to move little away from downtown areas like raffles, shanton way etc
staying near to MRT station or 2-3 bus stops away is always good.

c) a lot depends on the budget onbe has, wat would be the range for a good salary to be able to stay as well as meet expenses and save a bit for back home ?

ANS: This is a tough question to answer always ;) ..You figure out the expenses and add 20% buffer to it :)

Hope this helps.

regards
Sandeep

SKUL said...

Sandeep,
Thanks for the info. What would you suggest about accomodation? Should I live near office place or should i live a little away where i can enjoy after office hours. In such case what place would you suggest (office at anson road) food availability is must for me and good food, not too expensive

Anonymous said...

I have 2 dogs, and cannot abandon them to move out of India to Singapore. I heard that you are not legally or otherwise allowed to maintain pets in the HDB's. Is that true? If yes, are there any other types of rental accomodations available apart from HDB's? If yes, what will approximate rentals be? My office would at Depot road.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep!

Thanks so much for having your blogg available! I found it really useful in terms of information gathering about Singpaore and shall keep an eye out for updates!

Thank you so much,

VZ said...

Hi,

Sandeep this if very helpful info for people moving to singapore. Do you have any good websites for apartment renatls other than HDB?

Thanks

Kanth said...

Hi Sandeep,

Thank you so much for posting all this valuable information. I have a query. We are planning to shift from US to Singapore after getting a job. We are still in the initial stage. Can you please help us with providing some consultant's contact information for jobs in IT AS/400 platform.

Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Kanth

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep,

Thanks a lot for your post. It is really useful. I have a question for you.
Is it good to take a unfurnished house and have a 2 year lease.

I have long term plans in Singapore and dont want to spend 400/500 every month for the things i dont require in my house.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep,

Your blog has been really helpful. We are a family of three and are moving to Singapore.
The salary being offerred is 4000 singapore dollars & accomodation.
Do you think this salary is fine for a family of three taking in to consideration that my son will go to playschool.
In case I want to work, are there any day care centres & what would they cost me. The same company is offering me a job for 2000 SD.
Looking forward to your response at the earliest!!!!!!
Cheers
Priya

Sandeep said...

Hi Priya,

thanks for the comments.

Yes there are plenty of Day Care centers all around Singapore. The charges varies from around $250 for half day or flexi program. Around $500-600 for the full day one.

Please check my recent posts regarding some of the similar questions asked by readers. Hope that helps.

cheers
sandeep

P said...

Hi Sandeep, many thanks for this information. Really you are doing a great work.
I am planning to move to Singapore in Dec 08 along with my spouse. I would like to know more about master room (facilities, area, access to this room, cooking facility etc). Whether cooking is allowed? Thanks PU

Anonymous said...

hi...i have received an offer of S$3050 from a PR firm in Singapore and m thiking of relocationg. I'm currently single and would appreciate your advice on whether it is possible to live comfortably on this salary...

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep,

i wanted to know if the expenses listed are in Singapore dollars ??

i am looking to transition from US to Singapore...
Any suggestions on this would be freatly appreciated.

thanks,

Sid

Anonymous said...

ygwrtargHi Sandeep,

Thanks for the information.

I have got an offer of 5000 SGD per month from singapore. I am bachelor and I would like to know whether this is a good salary or not?

I am an S/W engineer having around 4 years of experience.

Please let me know.

Rahul.

My Professional CV said...

Hi Sandeep ,

I am looking for 2 bedroom hdb now , but not getting anything less than 2k.


Chandra

Sachin said...

Hi Sandeep, hope all well with you.
Could you please advice in which areas the rent is not high. Am a business men and planning to open a office in singapore so would like to shell out less funds. I would be moving with my wife. Are the rents payable very month or its taken in advance for 12 months. Are there any security deposits while renting.

Swami said...

Will 60000 Singapore dollars per annum sufficient for a couple to live in Singapore and save some pennies for home.....

Vijayalakshmi said...

Hi Sandeep

Just popped in to say i really got very crisp n recise information from your Blog Cost of living 2008.My husband is moving into Singapore shortly and we were wondering if this should be done or we should stick to india.Basis your Blog we have decided to take the step!!See you around once we settle in!Thank you very much again.!Vijayalakshmi Srinivasan

inquilab zindabad said...

Firstly Sandeep this is a damm helpful Blog that you have here. Hats off to you for the info that you are giving out.

Here are my questions to you:

- Both me and my wife have been offered a Job in Singapore and the monthly pay put together comes up to Sng$3300[Singapore Dollars]. Do you think we will be able to manager it out there with such an amt.

- Also in most of the replies that you've made you have stated the amt as $3000 or $300. Are these figures in Singapore Dollars or the US dollars?

lak said...

Hi Sandeep,

Thanks for youe very helpful blogging, it helps me much. I'm planning to move to Singapore. I was offered a job as a Network Engineer with salary ~3500 S$l my background: Network Engineer with 3+ years ex with large NMC in Vietnam. Is the salary reasonable? I'm planning to expense ard 2k per month, is it enough? My girlfriend also will join me to move to Singapore, with Australia Bachelor degree in Business, 1 yr experience in Accountant. Will she be able to find a job there?

Thank you for your support.
Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

good job sandeep.

p72_k said...

Hi Sandeep,

This is commendable!!!! you have indeed done a great research and it's heartening to see the information provided by you on this!! Wish you all the best. I just got to know that there vacancies for teachers in Singapore, so was just exploring these opportunities.
Wishing you the best!!!!!

preeti

sid said...

Hi Sandeep,

I need help here. I would be travelling to Singapore to pursue a graduate coursework at NUS. This is the first time I will travel outside India.

My query is regarding the foreign exchange.

I am planning to convert INR 1.75 lacs cash at a money exchanger/bank and travel to Singapore with around SGD5000.00.

1) Do you think that the above method is legitimate i.e. are there any impositions or rules at the Indian airport or the Singapore airport that I am missing here?

2) I wanted to know whether there is any upper limit on the amount I carry to Singapore (if yes, is SGD5000 within limits?).

Hoping for a reply soon as I travel in 10 days.

Regards,
Sid

Anonymous said...

Sandeep,

Appreciate all your work taht you ahve done o this website. I 'll be moving to Singapore soon and wanted to know what amount of money (in $) would be sufficient (1 month) for a couple in Singapore.Any help you can provide will be sorely appreciated. Thanks.

Degree Singapore said...

Good blog Keep it up !

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep,

What would be an approx cost of living in singapore for a couple (without kids) now in 2010. The 1600$ HDB , is it the avg price or the max or the min ?

Anonymous said...

Can one own a house in Singapore or is it all RENT only?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandeep. I was wondering what would be a good salary to live n in Singapore considering all costs such as renting a 2 BHK condo or apartment and sending a child to pre-school, with food and utilities?
Like for eg. is 10,000 SGD enough to get by comfortably?
Would appreciate a response as it will be one of the big decisions on whether or not we will make the move..
Thanks! Cheers

Anonymous said...

Good work. I was in singapore recently for a few days. The city is very clean and the people, all races, are quiet friendly and helpful.I felt it was a fit place to live and make a career.
the Indian schools in Singapore are expensive according to my Cousin , who has been living in singapore for the last 10 years. The public schools are very cheap and the quality of education is good , according to her. But for whatever reasons , most indian Expatriates enrol their kids in Indian schools.

mover singapore said...

This post can help anyone make an informed decision. Great Job!

arashi kensho said...

nice post.! i like this blog!

Soan said...

I reached your Singapore cost page through some other link.
I must say that you have provided good information about the COL there.

I am going there for a 6 month assignment and wanted to have fair idea about what it costs to stay there.
You article has helped..
Thanks.

Sandeep said...

Dear Readers,

Please read this post too :

http://www.icare2share.com/2010/06/cost-of-living-in-singapore-2010-for.html

Kiran said...

Thanx Sandeep for Sharing your thoughts & valuable experience.It helps a lot to get fair idea about Situation in Singapore for Living.
I will be going next month to Singapore for the period of nearly two months for training.I think the above discussion will help me.
Thnx once again.Keep your Good Work

Anil@mumbai said...

Hi Sandeep,
Thanks for the info..am planning to move Singapore in 6 months... Am having 7 years of exp and I have 6 years of daughter.how much I require to save and comfortable live.